Most of us are at least somewhat familiar with diabetes, whether it’s because we know someone who has been diagnosed with it or just from word of mouth. A less familiar condition is prediabetes, which leads to type 2 diabetes. Luckily, prediabetes can be reversed — it just takes a few lifestyle changes like exercise and diet.
Managing blood sugar levels is extremely important to our overall health and not just because it lower our risk of developing diabetes. High blood sugar has been linked to inflammation, heart disease, and kidney disease. To help manage blood sugar levels, here’s a list of foods that won’t magically lower blood sugar (you’ll need medication to do that), but they all have a low Glycemic Index (GI) which means they won’t raise blood sugar like many other foods.
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Flax and Chia Seeds
Flax and chia seeds might be small, but they are mighty! If they aren’t already, these wholesome ingredients should be a kitchen staple in your home, especially for someone who’s at risk for high blood sugar. These seeds are high in insoluble fibers which helps control the rate in which sugar is released into the bloodstream. A study published in the journal Diabetes Care found that one variety of chia seed “helped participants control blood glucose, reduce blood pressure, and lower C-reactive protein, a major marker of heart disease risk,” writes Diabetes Self Management. Let’s not forget about flaxseed which is high in magnesium, a mineral that Best Health says encourages cells to use the hormone produced by the pancreas to regulate the amount of glucose in the blood.
Chia seeds can be easily added to any meal and they won’t cause any problems with blood sugar because according to Healthline, they have a GI of only one. Unlike chia seeds, flax seed must be grounded in order for it to be full digested. So either buy it already ground, or buy whole flax and grind it yourself in a coffee grinder or spice mill.